The Open Door Institute, a new resource network for real estate professionals who specialize in corporate-owned real estate management (REO), announced Thursday that it is now accepting inaugural membership applications. Memberships are available for REO agents and brokers, retail agents and brokers, commercial agents and brokers, real estate investors, corporate REO sellers, attorneys, appraisers, city officials and more. The Open Door Institute offers many real estate professionals their first chance to become part of a meaningful real estate network that can connect them with peers and provide access to standardized training courses. “We’ve seen amazing interest from real estate professionals pre-registering for the Open Door since we announced this new industry initiative in late January,” said Paul Jackson, an executive director at the Open Door Institute and publisher of the only trade publication dedicated to corporate real estate management, REO Insider and mortgage finance news service, HousingWire. REO Insider recently joined forces with Real Estate Educate and Default School - an educator offering lender and servicer sanctioned training - to form the Open Door Institute. Certification programs offered to members through the Open Door Institute include the industry-standard RDCPro designation for REO brokers and agents, as well as new lender and servicer-recognized designations for short sales and green real estate. “Short sales are a huge component of where real estate and REO are headed next,” said David Boxall, executive director at the Open Door Institute and vice president, product development at PMH Financial, a Denver-based default servicer. “The short sale training program offered to Open Door members is something we see as having significant value to the entire industry.” “There are millions of foreclosed properties and distressed homeowners out there,” adds David Parrish, executive director at the Open Door Institute and CEO at Real Estate Educate. “Our goal with the Open Door is to offer the first truly open network for real estate professionals that work with distressed properties, whether through REO or short sales.” REO Insider also announced it will serve as the exclusive media sponsor for REO Expo 2010, a national real estate conference focused on the resale, purchase and management of corporate-owned real estate. REO Expo 2010 is hosted by the Open Door Institute, a resource group for real estate professionals who provide services for REO properties. The conference, June 6-9, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Reunion Center in Dallas, is expected to draw over 2,000 attendees. REO Expo 2010 will represent the first real estate industry event to actively bring buyers and sellers of REO properties together. It will also be the first conference to offer live certification courses recognized by national lenders and servicers. Training options will be offered to real estate agents and brokers, asset managers and investors. “We’re proud to support REO Expo, because real estate sales – especially of the corporate-owned and short sale variety – represent the road to recovery for our nation’s ailing real estate markets,” Jackson said. “Firms that historically operate in the retail real estate market can no longer ignore the REO sales market.” The theme of the event is “Putting real estate back into REO,” a nod to the show’s goal of bringing corporate-owned and retail real estate sales together. Write to Jon Prior.